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2 technical questions from classical guitarist #2870337
07/18/19 01:12 PM
07/18/19 01:12 PM
Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
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nattyCT Offline OP
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nattyCT  Offline OP
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Joined: Jul 2019
Posts: 1
Hi guys,

Wanted to play this instrument for a long time and just started 3 weeks ago. It is really easy and fun to make some noise on this thing. So I've a few questions for turning these noises into real music in the future.

1. Nails. My right hand index,middle and ring finger nails pass finger tips around 1-2mm when looked from finger pad side vertically. I cannot push keys without touching nails in with "hand relaxed at sides" curve shape.However, I can still play fully on finger pads with finger pad being in an angle of 30 degrees to keys and it feels almost natural and nails are not clicking most of the time. There are nail click noises from time to time while playing but it doesn't bother me when playing with headphones. So is this gonna limit me technique-wise in the future like intermediate-advanced levels? (Shortening nails more than this is sadly not an option for me)

2. Having a tense hand feels like helping. I'm quite aware that having relaxed form is the optimum form for many instrument. However, whenever I relax my hand, force of finger pad pushing keys gets less controlled compared to tensing my finger phalanx to form kinda "eagle claw" like shape. This way, initial key push contact damping, velocity of key going down and stopping at whatever height I want gets way controlled compared to relaxed phalanx. Thus, I can play pieces with good timing and tone control when fingers get tense. In addition to this, finger collapsing occurs when my fingers are in relaxed state, especially when playing scales and thumb going under or over middle finger. Is this part of hand being tense normal, if not how is it gonna harm me in the long run?

Lastly, I've started with Alfred book and it is very uninteresting for my taste, finished it in 2 weeks without skipping or polishing any songs just for the sake of finishing what I've started. Started to continue with Piano Adventure 3A and I like this book way better, focusing on technique for each piece, polishing them. Since I play guitar, I got my music theory down. Do you recommend anything else than PA method book series at this stage for self learning?

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Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870342
07/18/19 01:29 PM
07/18/19 01:29 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
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LarryK Online content
500 Post Club Member
LarryK  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
Originally Posted by nattyCT
Hi guys,

Wanted to play this instrument for a long time and just started 3 weeks ago. It is really easy and fun to make some noise on this thing. So I've a few questions for turning these noises into real music in the future.

1. Nails. My right hand index,middle and ring finger nails pass finger tips around 1-2mm when looked from finger pad side vertically. I cannot push keys without touching nails in with "hand relaxed at sides" curve shape.However, I can still play fully on finger pads with finger pad being in an angle of 30 degrees to keys and it feels almost natural and nails are not clicking most of the time. There are nail click noises from time to time while playing but it doesn't bother me when playing with headphones. So is this gonna limit me technique-wise in the future like intermediate-advanced levels? (Shortening nails more than this is sadly not an option for me)

2. Having a tense hand feels like helping. I'm quite aware that having relaxed form is the optimum form for many instrument. However, whenever I relax my hand, force of finger pad pushing keys gets less controlled compared to tensing my finger phalanx to form kinda "eagle claw" like shape. This way, initial key push contact damping, velocity of key going down and stopping at whatever height I want gets way controlled compared to relaxed phalanx. Thus, I can play pieces with good timing and tone control when fingers get tense. In addition to this, finger collapsing occurs when my fingers are in relaxed state, especially when playing scales and thumb going under or over middle finger. Is this part of hand being tense normal, if not how is it gonna harm me in the long run?

Lastly, I've started with Alfred book and it is very uninteresting for my taste, finished it in 2 weeks without skipping or polishing any songs just for the sake of finishing what I've started. Started to continue with Piano Adventure 3A and I like this book way better, focusing on technique for each piece, polishing them. Since I play guitar, I got my music theory down. Do you recommend anything else than PA method book series at this stage for self learning?


I’ve been studying the classical guitar for about nine years and I started piano about six months ago.

I think your nails are short enough to work for the piano. I am keeping mine pretty short so I can play both instruments without causing too much clicking noise on the keys.

The best thing I did was to find a good teacher. My teacher works with me to find the best way to play without tension but with a strong connection to the keyboard. I’m working a lot on disconnecting my hands so that they move independently of each other.

It’s a great adventure and I expect to be at it for decades!

Last edited by LarryK; 07/18/19 01:30 PM.

Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870348
07/18/19 02:20 PM
07/18/19 02:20 PM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
MichaelJK Online content

Full Member
MichaelJK  Online Content

Full Member

Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 189
Connecticut, USA
Originally Posted by nattyCT

1. Nails. My right hand index,middle and ring finger nails pass finger tips around 1-2mm when looked from finger pad side vertically. I cannot push keys without touching nails in with "hand relaxed at sides" curve shape.However, I can still play fully on finger pads with finger pad being in an angle of 30 degrees to keys and it feels almost natural and nails are not clicking most of the time. There are nail click noises from time to time while playing but it doesn't bother me when playing with headphones. So is this gonna limit me technique-wise in the future like intermediate-advanced levels? (Shortening nails more than this is sadly not an option for me)


I sometimes play classical guitar, but I generally do it without nails, because I want to keep my nails short for piano. In your case, I probably wouldn't worry about it. If it starts to limit you, you'll realize it. Then, you can make the decision to either (a) deal with the clicking noises, or (b) sacrifice your guitar playing for the sake of easier piano playing.

Quote

2. Having a tense hand feels like helping. I'm quite aware that having relaxed form is the optimum form for many instrument. However, whenever I relax my hand, force of finger pad pushing keys gets less controlled compared to tensing my finger phalanx to form kinda "eagle claw" like shape. This way, initial key push contact damping, velocity of key going down and stopping at whatever height I want gets way controlled compared to relaxed phalanx. Thus, I can play pieces with good timing and tone control when fingers get tense. In addition to this, finger collapsing occurs when my fingers are in relaxed state, especially when playing scales and thumb going under or over middle finger. Is this part of hand being tense normal, if not how is it gonna harm me in the long run?


You should be aware that "relaxed form" is a very subjective and relative term. What looks and feels relaxed to you may not seem that way to me, and vice versa. And, it may change for you too as you develop more physical awareness at the piano. For now, do not worry about what is "correct". Worry about what "feels easier" and what "seems to work better".

Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: LarryK] #2870430
07/18/19 06:43 PM
07/18/19 06:43 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,952
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Charles Cohen  Offline
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C

Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,952
Richmond, BC, Canada
Originally Posted by LarryK
. . . The best thing I did was to find a good teacher. My teacher works with me to find the best way to play without tension but with a strong connection to the keyboard. I’m working a lot on disconnecting my hands so that they move independently of each other.



+ 50 !

The kinds of questions you're asking (very sensible questions) are best answered by someone who knows what he/she is doing, watching you play.

You may not need or want a long-term relationship with a teacher, but it's really tough to answer:

. . . "Is there too much tension in my hands?"

over the Internet.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: Charles Cohen] #2870575
07/19/19 09:04 AM
07/19/19 09:04 AM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
L
LarryK Online content
500 Post Club Member
LarryK  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
L

Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
Originally Posted by Charles Cohen
Originally Posted by LarryK
. . . The best thing I did was to find a good teacher. My teacher works with me to find the best way to play without tension but with a strong connection to the keyboard. I’m working a lot on disconnecting my hands so that they move independently of each other.



+ 50 !

The kinds of questions you're asking (very sensible questions) are best answered by someone who knows what he/she is doing, watching you play.

You may not need or want a long-term relationship with a teacher, but it's really tough to answer:

. . . "Is there too much tension in my hands?"

over the Internet.


Thanks. I tried to teach myself for a while but as soon as I took a lesson, I realized that I was playing all wrong. I was glued to the keyboard, terrified of moving, stabbing at the keys, and had far too much tension in the wrong places.

We learn by watching others do something and they teach us by watching what we do and suggesting ways to change. My teacher has a very hands on approach to finding out where I am strong and where I am weak. I'm trying to learn to play stronger with the right hand in order to bring out the melody. This is also part of disconnecting the hands.

Yes, lessons are expensive, and I would bet my lessons in New York City are more expensive than most of people's lessons but I feel they're worth every penny. I always come out of a lesson with a sense that I have learned something important.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870604
07/19/19 11:13 AM
07/19/19 11:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,973
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
1000 Post Club Member
johnstaf  Online Crying
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,973
Dublin
One concern is that you might be more prone to break your nails on the piano, which could affect your guitar playing.

What you're calling tense is probably firm. Firm is goos (sometimes).

Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870626
07/19/19 12:36 PM
07/19/19 12:36 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,973
Dublin
johnstaf Online crying
1000 Post Club Member
johnstaf  Online Crying
1000 Post Club Member

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 1,973
Dublin
I meant firm is GOOD (sometimes).

Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: johnstaf] #2870642
07/19/19 02:00 PM
07/19/19 02:00 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
L
LarryK Online content
500 Post Club Member
LarryK  Online Content
500 Post Club Member
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Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
Originally Posted by johnstaf
I meant firm is GOOD (sometimes).


I figured that out. smile It still begs the question of how much firmness where and when. It’s pretty complicated, actually.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870703
07/19/19 05:58 PM
07/19/19 05:58 PM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,952
Richmond, BC, Canada
C
Charles Cohen Offline
4000 Post Club Member
Charles Cohen  Offline
4000 Post Club Member
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Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 4,952
Richmond, BC, Canada
As I think about the difference between piano and guitar playing:

On a guitar, the LH sets a finger down on a string, and _holds it there_ with a fair bit of pressure. You don't transfer energy to the string, you just hold it against the fretboard.

On a piano, the LH sets a finger down on a key, _and transfers energy to the key_, and then holds the key down _just hard enough_ to keep it from coming up. One thing beginners sometimes do, is to hold the key down with more force than necessary. That leads to both slow playing, and injury.

I don't know anything about guitar playing. But my guess is that "good technique" means keeping the LH fingers close to the fretboard, when they're not in use.

If you try to play piano with your fingers close to the keyboard, you'll find it difficult to play anything loud. And if you try, you risk injury.

Instead, the whole hand lifts, and "arm weight" (and arm, wrist, and finger muscles) are used to give some velocity (and mass) to the finger(s) when they strike the key -- that way, there's some energy to transfer!


The more I think about this, the more I think that finding a teacher would be worthwhile. The earlier you do that, the less you'll have to un-learn.


. Charles
---------------------------
PX-350 / microKorg XL+ / Pianoteq / Lounge Lizard / Korg Wavedrum / EV ZXA1 speaker
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870734
07/19/19 07:36 PM
07/19/19 07:36 PM
Joined: Feb 2019
Posts: 799
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LarryK Online content
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LarryK  Online Content
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Joined: Feb 2019
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I have a teacher for classical guitar and one for piano and I’ve never regretted it. To my mind, teachers save you time by focusing your practice and concentrating on improving your technique.


Yamaha U1 Silent Piano
Re: 2 technical questions from classical guitarist [Re: nattyCT] #2870779
07/19/19 11:27 PM
07/19/19 11:27 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,415
New York
Mark_C Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member
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New York
One of our most interesting threads.

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